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Can we talk about this forum? - Page 2

post #21 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysideup
I don't know... If you feel time-out is damaging what's wrong with saying so? Can't we keep our minds open, debate and discuss the merits of different teaching tools and styles? I think debating these things is a great way for us to learn. :
Yes say so. But use an "I" statement so that we all dont feel like you are telling us taht WE are damaging our children. But that you choose not to use time out because you think it might be damaging to your children.
To a reader who after serious consideration on all sides, still chooses to use time out occasionally these statements are very different:
"We dont use time out in our house because I feel it is potentially just as damaging to my child as spanking." or even "We don't use time out because I am less concerned with changing my childs' behavior rather than preserving our relationship." on one hand and
"Time out is just as damaging to children as spanking." or "Time out damages the attachment between parent and child"
If you use "I" statements or "I think" or "I believe" or "in our family" or "In our house" you can state a firmly held belief, however controversial without being interpreted as accusing others of damaging their children or ruining their attachment relationships.
post #22 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Yep. I haven't read all the replies, but I know that I get a little tired of the nitpicking over whether something is a logical or natural consequence, and how if it wasn't phrased exactly right then you are a punishing parent, blah blah blah. It makes my head hurt, to be honest, and I feel like it would be so much more constructive to get real about the discussion. 90% of us here are very gentle parents, rarely using discipline, but we are real people and we are tired and we are some days stressed, and yes, some days I say "throw the train one more time and it's going away" rather than "hey sweet honey love, let's put the train down and go draw pictures of the universe together." I guess I feel sometimes this forum is all about ideal, perfect world GD, not real, everyday, we're doing our best GD.

I probably shouldn't post this - I'm cranky, I've got a sick kid, and I'm pissed at my mom and dh.
No, I think what you are saying is very true, and I think there is evidence of it even on this thread!
post #23 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
I'm curious if you would feel insulted in the situations I gave here: When I hear things like that, I tend to just shrug my shoulders and think that the other person is wrong. I don't think that "if you feel bad when you hear it it proves you are doing things wrong," rather it proves that you are not entirely comfortable or confident with the way you are doing things. Because really, if someone tells me I'm abusing my child by breastfeeding him past infancy, I am not insulted because they are wrong. I shrug my shoulders, maybe roll my eyes, and move on. If someone said putting my child in time-out was abusive and I was offended by that, I would need to re-examine time-outs. It doesn't mean I am wrong for using time-outs, just that I need to put some more thought into it.
I think there is a difference and here is why.
WHen somebody who is uninformed or has opinions vastly different from mine are advising me on my parenting. (A stranger, acquaintence or even my MIL)
I dont feel insulted and I can let it roll off of my back.
But in a forum where I am seeking alliance with others of like mind, and support among mothers with whom I share philosophies, such as statement has the potential to be hurtful. It also draws a line between "us" and "them" and IMO many of us are here to connect. To form an "us" of the GD community. I have no interest in connecting with the rude cashier at the grocery store who comments on my parenting, so what she says cannot insult me.
post #24 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunnysideup
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Well there is a certain level of diplomacy which makes it possible to express even the most strongly held opinions in a way which does not insult another.
"I dont use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" and "Time out is damaging to all children and is as bad as spanking" BOTH express an opinion against time out. The first is rational and explains an opinion effectively. The second is inflammatory.
I don't know... If you feel time-out is damaging what's wrong with saying so? Can't we keep our minds open, debate and discuss the merits of different teaching tools and styles? I think debating these things is a great way for us to learn.
Would you be saying that “I feel time-outs are damaging”, or would you be saying “time-outs are damaging”….different messages, different responses and I would suggest that neither is as effective as, "I don’t use time out because I think my child would feel a withdrawal of love" or even “I feel time-outs are damaging because…” And to be even more effective I would say that you should also recognize the other point of view such as, “I feel that time-outs are counterproductive because while I think the intent is to….I think they more often have the effect of……”

There is nothing necessarily “wrong” but one can make an argument that it is ineffective as it ‘deafens’ part of the audience. Is there any way to send a verbal communication that will be ‘heard’ by all? Probably not, but that I think is the goal. I’m sure we’ve all seen cartoons that showed ‘what he said’ on one side and ‘what she heard’ on the other, and the goal is to bring those two sides as close as possible. There are whole professions committed to this cause…survey writers and statisticians strive to neutral language so as to not add ‘noise’ to the message or even the facts, International businesspersons and marketers strive to understand subtitle nuisances that are offenses to one group of persons but not to another. People hear and define words by their culture, their upbringing, their experiences, etc. When I lived in New York, to confront someone was good; proactive and forthright, now that I live in Minnesota (land of Minnesota-nice) it is bad; confrontational, to challenge, to defy. To me, confront has very different connotations than confrontational and yet abuse brings the same connotations as abusive, unless it is used very carefully as in “I think it an abuse of trust…” Is it my problem? Sure, unless you are trying to communicate with me at which time it becomes OUR problem.

How far to we need to go in our communications to accommodate people? It depends how broadly we want our message to be heard.
post #25 of 158
The problem that is being discussed (rudeness, disrespect, lack of support, etc) is really apparent in many forums here at MDC. This last summer, things got really bad, a bunch of mamas quit and some were banned, some canceled their mothering subscriptions, rules were tightened and I took a break for a few months because I had been hurt so badly and repeatedly by a few mamas (not anyone here). I think because this is an internet forum and we often do not actually know each other and we can reply so quickly, sometimes we (and I include me) don't always reply with the thought needed to be respectful. Threads can get so long that if you do not reply quickly you miss a great deal of the conversation. I also bet that many of us write things herein that we would never say out loud. Furthermore, one cannot grasp intention or tone from a written response. It is just the nature of chat forums. I don't think there is really any way for any of us to control the situation and foster change beyond just trying to be more respectful ourselves and reporting to the moderators those who are not respectful.

Having a bit of tough hide and not taking things personally has helped me.

And, using the ignore function helps. I have put a few people on ignore. When they show up in a thread, I simply back out and move on.
post #26 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
And, using the ignore function helps. I have put a few people on ignore. When they show up in a thread, I simply back out and move on.
I have thought of doing this. But in the end it blocks me from the threads I find most interesting. :
But I do have a mental "ignore" feature that I try to keep in mind. (but unfortunately it is easier to override! )
post #27 of 158
If someone chooses to feel offended or hurt, they will do so no matter how it is said.
Why should I be held responsible for another's feelings? They are your feelings, not mine.
post #28 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
If someone chooses to feel offended or hurt, they will do so no matter how it is said.
Why should I be held responsible for another's feelings? They are your feelings, not mine.
Thank you so much for providing a perfect example. . .
post #29 of 158
This forum has been getting more and more difficult to even read and I stopped posting much a while ago because I feel that certain viewpoints and perspectives on what GD and what is not GD have taken a role that I am not comfortable with. I come back hoping it will be better but thread after thread has gotten bogged down with disagreements over the 'older' standards of what is and isn't GD no longer being valid. I read many of the authors and practice GD as best I have understood it for a few years now and I do love it. But I am not TCS/non-coercive and have yet to be drawn to it. I have seen a lot of "gentler-than-thou" statements here. I have seen a lot of posts that are blanket statements as opposed to the "I" statements as others have requested.

I believe in a gentle view of natural/logical consequences at times. To some that puts me outside of the GD spectrum.

The circle just seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The definition narrower and narrower. What used to be ok is no longer ok here. I get a little peeved when someone says that what I do doesn't fit here anymore when it did a year ago.
post #30 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by johub
Thank you so much for providing a perfect example. . .

But MITB, you have been upset with something directed at you or what you have said.

I think speaking in a respectful manner goes a long way with getting our point across without hurting someones feelings. We could be more gentle with each other too.

I lurk here, but stay out mostly because my kids are a bit older, and I am not having the same issues as some of the moms with younger kids. I do try and offer support, though, and if i have anything to offer I do.

as for Time-outs, I know that quite a few moms do not like them, do not use nor advocate them. But I have used them (though not in a while) to mostly give my child a chance to regroup. This works amazing with my child, and has helped re-direct him. And I have given MYSELF timeouts when things are escalating and I am losing my ability to be effective. In fact, locking myself in my room is one of my favorite things to do
post #31 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
If someone chooses to feel offended or hurt, they will do so no matter how it is said.
Why should I be held responsible for another's feelings? They are your feelings, not mine.
Non-gentle attitudes like this are why this board is difficult. People posting who do not feel that they are responsible for the things they say and how they can affect others feelings when the GD board is a very emotionally charged board to begin with.

This is a part of the human community in my mind to care how your actions and words affect other people that you interact with. If you don't care about me and my feelings then why should I take your advice and why do you even give it?
post #32 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbaby3

But MITB, you have been upset with something directed at you or what you have said.
But I never held another person responsible for my feelings.
Yes, there are things i strongly disagree with and will state that.
post #33 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
This forum has been getting more and more difficult to even read and I stopped posting much a while ago because I feel that certain viewpoints and perspectives on what GD and what is not GD have taken a role that I am not comfortable with. I come back hoping it will be better but thread after thread has gotten bogged down with disagreements over the 'older' standards of what is and isn't GD no longer being valid. I read many of the authors and practice GD as best I have understood it for a few years now and I do love it. But I am not TCS/non-coercive and have yet to be drawn to it. I have seen a lot of "gentler-than-thou" statements here. I have seen a lot of posts that are blanket statements as opposed to the "I" statements as others have requested.

I believe in natural consequences at times. To some that puts me outside of the GD spectrum.

The circle just seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The definition narrower and narrower. What used to be ok is no longer ok here. I get a little peeved when someone says that what I do doesn't fit here anymore when it did a year ago.
Which is why we need you to stick around! The voices like you and like me are getting fewer and less vocal. And this is what allows this to happen.
I dont want some well meaning mom to come on here next year and find only non coercive types defining GD and feel that there is no way to be a firm authoritative guide for their children and be gentle at the same time.
To find that there is no real life advice for the mom who truly wants to address a behavior rather than just love the child and expect the best.
Where else do GD moms go to talk to other GD moms? Does anybody know?
This IS our place too.
post #34 of 158
: Interesting thread. I usually steer clear of here even though I'm prob. the most GD person I know IRL. I don't think there's a "problem" w/asking people to discuss issues from a GD or TCS perspective on this board; ie. we don't promote formula on the bfeeding board or snips on the anti-circ board. BUT...I feel that some posters here get the clique mentality and gang up on people trying to discuss discipline issues. IRL, it's rarely "my way or the highway" but I feel that strongly here w/some posters or cliques.

In general at MDC, we talk about the AP checklist and agree that it's poppycock. But, I'm not so sure about the checklist and its rigidity here.

BUt, having said that I'd still rather deal w/this forum than the real world sometimes.
post #35 of 158
I think we need much more clarity on what this board considers GD. I have quoted examples right out of Jane Nelsen's Positive Discipline (a book listed on the Sticky for the GD book list) - and been told that the approach was child abuse and, I quote, a "criminal offense".

IMHO -- we need SOME definition around the belief system. For instance - if the GD philosophy here is far to the left of Positive Discipline - I want to know - so I can go find a more appropriate forum to discuss and practice the type of GD that I strive to adhere to.

Otherwise - the philosophies are too all over the map -- and the board is not helpful.
post #36 of 158
Aside from being in the GD "family circle of trust," so to speak, another point of consideration might be how GD is presented to those who are new to the practice or the forum. I am an example. Although I consider myself to be AP, coming by it quite naturally and eager to learn more, I was unfamiliar with GD until I joined MDC. Unfortunately due to having a new baby and due to my job, I have little time to read the books that come so highly recommended in this forum.

So to someone who admittedly is unsure about how she feels about GD and how that fits into her parenting skills, like me, it is difficult to not see harsh judgment being passed to some posters. I'm not weak minded. I'm learning. But geesh, dare I post?

I'm in total agreement with johub based on what I've seen in my lurkings. I've found that some posts come across far from gentle.
post #37 of 158
Oh yeah, Jane Nelson is evil. Shhhhh
post #38 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
This is a part of the human community in my mind to care how your actions and words affect other people that you interact with. If you don't care about me and my feelings then why....?


Well said.
post #39 of 158
Quote:
IMHO -- we need SOME definition around the belief system. For instance - if the GD philosophy here is far to the left of Positive Discipline - I want to know - so I can go find a more appropriate forum to discuss and practice the type of GD that I strive to adhere to.

Otherwise - the philosophies are too all over the map -- and the board is not helpful.
My instinct is to agree with this. I previously suggested (in another thread) splitting off a noncoercive/TCS forum and a more authoritatively-focused GD forum.

I have seen posters advocate things on this board that don't fit into my definition of "GD" too, but I don't feel it's my place to call them out on it.

I suppose the issue is that GD is not black and white, like vax/don't vax, nurse/FF, cosleep/CIO.
post #40 of 158
OK, I'm game - I'll dive in.

I've been reading some of the recent threads with great interest, not only in the topics being discussed, but at how much people get their ire up over something that someone they never even met said.

I am on the "right" (not correct, but more conservative) side of GD, because I do believe that I am, in the end, the one who will pull the trump card if something is going on with my DS that I'm not comfortable with. It's the way I was raised, and it's the way I will raise my son. Period.

I have no deep-seeded issues related to resenting my parents for sometimes trumping me, invading my personal space, forcing me to do things, coercing me into sitting in my car seat, disrespecting me, or controlling me. Yet, with no question, they were "in charge" if it came down to it. It was not a complete democracy - I had a voice and an opinion that was considered, but they were the "captains" and had the final say....they DID listen to my opinions and incorporated them when possible.

I have no issues with feeling inavlidated or unimportant because I was not always accommodated; as an adult, I don't feel a sense of injustice if my needs aren't always considered equal to others, and I'm fine with compromising...that's just the way life is sometimes, and it doesn't give me a sense of sadness or dread to think of it that way...

SOOOOOOOOOOO.....someone who disagrees with the way I'm parenting by saying I'm controlling my child and not treating them as an equal, OK, whatever. That's their opinion. They could call me non-GD if they want, but I disagree - and in the end, for my family, that's all that matters.

What I *HAVE* gotten out of this forum is some GREAT ideas on how to implement the philosophies I already have, giving me techniques and tips on how to avoid power struggles, how to redirect and accomodate, how to rethink whether things are important or not - but the forum has never made me question that in my family, I am the captain of the ship. I firmly believe in a family someone needs to steer the ship, and in my family, it's me. I am NOT dogmatic, infallible, or unyielding...I am human. But, in the end, I am responsible for my children's physical, emotional, mental, and social well being, not the other way around.

Everyone has an opinion, everyone is entitled to one. However, there is something to be said for a certain amount of decorum and tact if you're trying to reach someone or persuade them to think of alternative solutions to issues. My mom always said "you catch more flies with honey", and I have found this to be true my entire life. It is NOT about NOT saying what you feel - it's about HOW you say it - and while you are not responsible for other people's feelings, I find it hard to believe that some people who represent themselves as trying to be mutually respectful and accomodating to their children have a hard time extending that same courtesy to adults who are looking for advice and discussions. I also find it hard to believe that in their interactions with their children, they would take the same tones or phrasings with them.

I remember the statement, "GD to me is treating my child the way I would like to be treated." floating around the boards some time ago.

To me, LIFE is treating others the way I would want to be treated, not just my children, but *everyone* - mu DH, my family, my friends, complete strangers...and I find it hard to believe sometimes that people would want to hear statements from others using the same tone they use themselves.


I fear I have been fairly off topic, so I'll try to actually answer the OP: To me, the GD forum is place to exchange ideas and share solutions to problems, to discuss the broad range of ideals that are within the spectrum of GD, and to be able to do so with at least the same amount of respect and courtesy that we would afford to our children.
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